In Search of the Best Biscuits in the U.S.

Tall, tender, and fluffy or loaded with cheddar and bacon, these biscuits from across the country are sure to please.

A fried chicken biscuit from Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen

Huoy Chen

The secret to perfect biscuits is hotly contested: Lard or butter? Milk or buttermilk? Baking powder or soda? (Or both?) Most Southern home cooks have a stance, but these days, chefs from all over the country are joining in on the tradition, digging through old church cookbooks and family recipes to find the perfect version. Served simply with butter and jam or as vehicles for fried chicken, sausage, or sawmill gravy, these flaky biscuits are all delicious.

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The Dutch (New York City)

Biscuits drenched in honey butter sauce at The Dutch

American Flavor

Biscuits in Soho? Yes. At Andrew Carmellini's pan-American restaurant, a sublimely tasty version — tall, fluffy, and slightly crisp on the outside — straddles the line between a dessert and a side thanks to its dousing of honey butter sauce. Order them on their own or with the hot fried chicken at brunch.

The Dutch, 131 Sullivan St. New York, NY, 212-677-6200

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Loveless Cafe (Nashville)

A plate of biscuits and blackberry jam at Loveless Cafe

Loveless Cafe

No trip to Nashville would be complete without a stop at Loveless Café for the famously feather-light buttermilk biscuits, house-smoked country ham, and red-eye gravy. Served warm with homemade jams, the star attraction has been made using the same secret recipe since 1951 (reportedly involving Martha White flour and Purity buttermilk). Lines are a given on weekends, but running out is not an issue: They make between 4,000 and 7,000 biscuits a day.

Loveless Café, 8400 TN-100, Nashville, TN, 615-646-9700

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Pine State Biscuits (Portland, Oregon)

A Reggie Deluxe sandwich at Pine State Biscuits

David Reamer Photography

What started out in 2006 as a humble biscuit stand opened by three friends from North Carolina at the PSU farmers market has grown into a full-on breakfast institution with a brick-and-mortar location. Lines form on the weekends for the gigantic buttermilk biscuit sandwiches, most notably the Reggie Deluxe: fried chicken, bacon, and cheese, doused with gravy (sausage or mushroom) and topped with a fried egg.

Pine State Biscuits, Multiple locations in Portland, OR

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Husk Nashville (Nashville)

A biscuit served at Husk Nashville

Husk Nashville

Former pastry chef and author Lisa Donovan says the secret to the tall, perfectly flaky biscuits she developed for Husk is a combination of Cruze buttermilk, a hot cast-iron skillet, and a recipe inspired by biscuit queen Edna Lewis.

Husk Nashville, 37 Rutledge St, Nashville, TN, 615-256-6565

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Big Bad Breakfast

A basket of towel-swathed biscuits at Big Bad Breakfast

Big Bad Breakfast

Chef John Currence makes his fluffy buttermilk biscuits with a mixture of extra-cold butter and shortening and just a touch of sugar. His must-try dish is the Cathead, a biscuit sandwich piled with a choice of house-smoked sausage, bacon, country ham or fried chicken, and topped with a slice of cheddar. The name comes from a Southern term for biscuits baked as big as a cat's head.

Big Bad Breakfast, 719 N Lamar Blvd, Oxford, MS, 662-236-2666

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Rise Biscuit and Donuts (Durham, North Carolina)

A loaded breakfast sandwich at Rise Biscuit and Donuts
Photo Courtesy of Rise Biscuits and Donut

Before opening his tiny biscuit and doughnut shop in 2012, chef Tom Ferguson drove cross-country to sample the best of both comfort foods and came back inspired. His huge, flaky biscuits are served with Southern toppings like fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese.

Rise Biscuits and Donuts, 8200 Renaissance Pkwy, Durham, NC, 919-248-2992 (and multiple locations nationwide)

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Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits (Chicago)

A biscuit served on a thick berry sauce at Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

This cozy Logan Square pie shop doesn't claim to sell Southern-style biscuits. Owners Dave and Megan Miller and Michael Ciapciak created a dense, buttery, sour cream–based Midwest version, served warm from the oven with an assortment of house-made spreads like black pepper honey butter and blueberry lavender jam.

Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits, 4947 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL, 773-530-9020

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Pies 'n' Thighs (Brooklyn)

A very tall biscuit on a plate at Pies 'n' Thighs

Winnie Au

Sarah Sanneh, one of the three owners of this cult Williamsburg café, makes her buttermilk biscuits with pastry flour and lots of butter, then glazes them with cream and egg before baking. Every order of fried chicken comes with one of these beauties, and the biscuit sandwiches are over the top. The chicken biscuit — a breaded and fried chicken breast assaulted by hot sauce and smothered in honey butter — is the perfect sweet-savory-spicy combo.

Pies 'n' Thighs 166 S 4th St, Brooklyn, NY, 347-529-6090

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Dot's Diner (Boulder, Colorado)

A large, browned biscuit on a plate at Dot's Diner

Dot's Diner

This 30-year-old diner is a Boulder mainstay (popular with both tourists and hippies) and is known for its tender buttermilk biscuits, made in regular and gluten-free versions. Regulars swear by the A.M. sandwich: a warm biscuit filled with a scrambled egg, melted cheddar, and a choice of ham, avocado, or vegetarian sausage.

Dot's Diner, 2716 28th St, Boulder, CO, 303-449-1323

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Sweet Cheeks Q (Boston)

An order of biscuits and honey butter at Sweet Cheeks Q

Michael Diskin

Top Chef alumna Tiffani Faison makes fantastic barbecue at her Southern-style restaurant, but her gigantic, flaky biscuits — served with honey butter — are the real show-stoppers. The demand for these biscuits has been so huge that she recently added a second, biscuits-only oven to keep up with the lunch rush and deliveries.

Sweet Cheeks Q, 1381 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 617-266-1300

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Devil's Teeth Baking Company (San Francisco)

A biscuit breakfast sandwich at Devil's Teeth Baking Company
Photo Courtesy of Devil's Baking Company

Hilary Passman Cherniss left a law career to open her tiny Outer Sunset bakery in 2011. Located just four blocks from the beach (and named for one of the rocky Farallon Islands you can see in the distance), the bakery serves all manner of baked goods, but the breakfast sandwich is exceptional. The warm, flaky buttermilk biscuit topped with two scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, and applewood-smoked bacon is the perfect post-surfing treat.

Devil's Teeth Baking Company, 3876 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA, 415-683-5533

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Biscuit Bitch (Seattle)

A biscuit sandwich from Biscuit Bitch

Kimmie Spice

Self-described "Biscuit Bitch" Kim Allen started serving homemade buttermilk biscuits and gravy to feed the late-night bar crowd at Rena Poppell's Caffé Lieto. Despite the tongue-in-cheek names like Hot Mess Bitch (biscuits and gravy with eggs, garlic cheese grits, grilled Louisiana hot links, and jalapeños) and Buttered-Up Bitch (biscuit with butter and honey, jam, and maple peanut butter or Nutella), these light, flaky biscuits are the real deal.

Biscuit Bitch, 1909 1st Ave, Seattle, WA, 206-441-7999

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Biscuits + Groovy (Austin, Texas)

The Johnny at Biscuits + Groovy

Biscuits + Groovy

Music-loving entrepreneur Jon Lach began selling his vegan biscuits (made with homemade vegan buttermilk) and gravies from a retro food truck in Hyde Park in 2011. The concept was an instant success. Today, Lach serves vegan originals and non-vegan versions of breakfast dishes like The Johnny (biscuits with gravy, cheese, sausage, bacon, potatoes, and chives) and The Gloria (biscuits topped with scrambled eggs, two cheeses, bacon, sausage, jalapeños, and chives, smothered in gravy).

Biscuits + Groovy, Multiple locations in Austin, TX

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Manhattan Beach Post (Manhattan Beach, California)

Cheddar bacon biscuits with maple butter at Manhattan Beach Post

Rick Poon

David LeFevre's crispy bacon cheddar biscuits have quite a following. Oozing with cheddar and spiked with crispy bits of pork, these savory delicacies are on the menu morning and night, served with a side of housemade maple butter. They're also delicious in Le Fevre's biscuit eggs Benedict, topped with poached eggs, arugula, prosciutto, and hollandaise.

Manhattan Beach Post, 1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA, 310-545-5405

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Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen & Café (Denver)

A sheet pan of biscuits fresh from the oven at Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen & Café

Seth Rubin

North Carolina native Seth Rubin was homesick for the flaky buttermilk biscuits of his childhood, so he decided to start making his own. His two cafes (open until just 1 p.m.) serve coffee and from-scratch North Carolina–style biscuits, including a daily flavor like Brie basil or pineapple sage. Don't miss the sandwiches (named for North Carolina cities) and the decadently delicious biscuit cinnamon rolls.

Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen & Café, 5126 W 29th Ave, Denver, CO, 720-855-0540

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Blackberry Farm (Walland, Tennessee)

Exterior shot of the entrance to the restaurant at Blackberry Farm

Beall + Thomas Photography

Guests at Mary Celeste Beall's luxurious inn ⁠— located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains ⁠— awaken to freshly baked biscuits (made from White Lily flour, cold shortening and Cruze buttermilk) served with sweet sorghum butter and farm preserves, or if you prefer, creamy sausage gravy.

Blackberry Farm, 1471 W Millers Cove Rd, Walland, TN, 865-984-8166

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The Silver Skillet (Atlanta)

Interior shot of the seating area at The Silver Skillet

Justin Lai

Family-owned and -operated since 1967, this cozy diner hasn't changed much in the past 46 years. The warm, fluffy homemade buttermilk biscuits are considered some of the best in town — order them with skillet-cooked country ham, red-eye gravy, and a side of grits for a true Southern breakfast.

The Silver Skillet, 200 14th St NW, Atlanta, GA, 404-874-1388

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Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

Close-up of a chicken biscuit at Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen

Huoy Chen

This Chapel Hill mainstay has been serving golden, flaky biscuits (using owner David Allen's grandmother's recipe) from a drive-through window since 1978. By the time the window opens at 6 a.m., there's usually a line of cars waiting. You can order your biscuit with bacon and egg, sausage, steak, or even a pork chop, though the most popular is fried chicken with cheddar.

Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen, 1305 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC, 919-933-1324

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